You direct your 29-vehicle motorcade--two armored limousines, six vans, seven sedans, a dozen motorcycles, an ambulance, and a helicopter--to take you to the Dairy Queen. All 85 members of your entourage, including a bomb-sniffing dog and the man who carries the codes to launch nuclear missiles, descend on the ice cream shop. Police stop traffic, and security agents scurry about, speaking into microphones in their sleeves. As four photographers vie for position, you stroll to the counter to order your Chocolate Rock. Then you sit down to eat the confection and pretend not to notice that everybody in the place is staring at you.Milbank, formerly a writer for The New Republic, occasionally flashes his biases (the GOP, he writes, is "a party often hijacked by harsh and selfish ideology"). For the most part, however, he lambastes the whole presidential selection process. He is often a participant in what he covers, as he doggedly tries to get an interview with Bush, sends a postcard to John McCain, and helps conduct a presidential poll. This allows him to make important observations that another approach might never uncover. Did you know, for instance, that it takes "6,000 calls to get 400 complete responses" for a daily tracking poll? Milbank focuses on the events leading up to the 2000 election, even though it's what happened afterward--Gore's challenge of the vote in Florida--that is most interesting and significant. Smashmouth nevertheless is great fun for readers who like a dose of laughter with their politics. --John J. Miller
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
I really liked reading this book but as I put it down for the last time I realized that there was really nothing in it that changed my life for the better or the worse. Read morePublished on August 5, 2002 by Jordon Cooper
A terrific combination of entertaining, funny, and even moving narrative; thoughtful analysis; and necessary irreverence. Highly recommended.Published on June 15, 2001
I was hugely disapointed by this book. The 2000 election was one of the most fascinating ever. I was looking forward to reading a great behind the scenes look at the whole... Read morePublished on May 6, 2001
Well, look at us, the American constituents. What a bunch of knuckleheads we turned out to be, allowing ourselves to blindly chase after and faun for some of the biggest moronic... Read morePublished on January 26, 2001 by Misha